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Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike
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Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Between 1896 and 1899, thousands of people lured by gold braved a grueling journey into the remote wilderness of North America. Within two years, Dawson City, in the Canadian Yukon, grew from a mining camp of four hundred to a raucous town of over thirty thousand people. The stampede to the Klondike was the last great gold rush in history.

Scurvy, dysentery, frostbite, and
Hardcover, 413 pages
Published September 13th 2010 by HarperCollins Canada (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 711)
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Jennifer D
This awesome book is not about this kind of gold digging (Nathaniel wondered?) Though, Jamie Foxx and Kanye West in the Klondike in 1896 probably would have been awesome. At the very least, the gambling halls, bars and hookers would have been even more rich from their patronage!

So...not about:

but totally about:

In seriousness, though, Gray did a great job with the book. Gold Diggers covers the gold rush period from 1896 till 1899, viewed through the narratives of prospector William Haskell, bus
Peggy Leavey
The back cover blurb reads: "Mounties, miners, ministers, and dance hall girls — they all came to Dawson City in the Yukon as the world went mad for gold."

Respected biographer Charlotte Gray has chosen six different individuals to profile in this book from among thousands who flocked to the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1890s. There's the miner William Haskell, whose partner Joe Meeker is tragically swept away under the ice by the swift current in the Yukon River; the selfless Jesuit priest, F
Jerry Auld
Well told historical tales. The only thing that would have been better is if they were fictionalized to be even closer to the reader. That's just my preference. Gray did a solid job of weaving six different character's lives together, and to bringing the significance and feel of the arctic at the turn of the century into our modern day imagination by able comparison.
The television adaptation was good, but the real story was so much better. Some characters were compressed in the mini-series, others were given Hollywood make-overs. For instance, Belinda Mulrooney was not nearly as fetching as Abbie Cornish made her seem. The actress did, however, capture perfectly the win-at-all-costs determination of a woman alone in the Yukon. The chapters on Jack London, Bill Haskell, Mountie Sam Steele and Fr. William Judge were very well researched and written. The brut ...more
Initially I started reading the book because of the History Channel miniseries, Klondike. I was very pleasantly surprised to find a history book that far outweighed the tv series. Charlotte Gray is able to weave a tale of six participants of the Klondike Gold Rush in such a way that it makes the reader feel as though they are right there with them. It was a shame to reach the end because I didn't want this to be the end of my journey into the Klondike. I was highly impressed with this book and w ...more
Charlotte Gray is right up there with Rick Atkinson in making history come alive. Here she presents the gold rush in the Klondike in 1897 and 1898 through a cast of colorful characters. She portrays the hardships: going over the Kilchut Pass, making boats and floating more than 100 miles down the Yukon River to Dawson, moving supplies, surviving the winter cold (60 below) and a diet of bread, beans, and bacon; the medical problems of scurvy and dysentery.

Each of her characters enable her to deep
A lot of times, things that happen in real life are more interesting than many fiction novels, and you can read about them in these history type books that follow people's lives through a certain period of time. You get to hear all about exiting and quirky things they did and saw, and strange or engaging people they met, way before there was electricty, railroads, or any creature comforts. I happen to love these kinds of history books. They allow you to imagine yourself living in that time and ...more
Maria Mangano
After a visit to Seattle, where many pioneers "outfitted" themselves for the Klondike Gold Rush, I as eager to read more about it. This book did not disappoint. I like the way Gray wove the stories of six individuals through the book to give it structure.
The story of the Yukon Gold Rush is a fascinating one. The discovery of gold deposits in Bonanza Creek in 1896 attracted every sort of person from all parts of the world to the area. Soon Dawson City was a rowdy frontier town full of prospectors, entrepreneurs, bankers,and prostitutes. What Charlotte Gray does so effectively is tell you this history through the stories of the lives of six people who were there to experience it all: the minor William Haskell;the priest Father Judge; the businessw ...more
Fun book to read, true history of a gold rush in the late 1890s in Alaska/Canada. I had seen the mini series on tv. The book was better than the show, but similar. Great characters and story.
I really liked this!! I knew little about the gold rush and I felt this book gave me both a wider context and a specific understanding of certain peoples' experiences. Charlotte Gray is a good writer and a great researcher; in this book she follows the story of the Klondike gold rush through the stories of a prospector, a priest, a businesswoman, an English journalist, the law officer Sam Steele, and Jack London. I liked some chapters/characters (all real people, please note) better than others ...more
A fascinating read about the reality of the travel to the Klondike and what life was like when those searching for gold reached their destination. It was also interesting to learn about NWMP superintendent Sam Steele and author Jack London's experiences there.
Catherine M Lowe
A great historical read

if you are interested in history of the Klondike this book gives the best details on the life in such a rugged part of history. great book.
Deb Vanasse
The narrative is beautifully executed, and Charlotte Gray has done a great job of weaving together the stories of diverse characters in Dawson City during the Klondike era. She has unearthed some interesting facts I haven't come across before, most notably the tension between the Jesuits and the Oblates. What kept it from five stars for me were some factual errors. It's the Coast Mountains, not the St. Elias, through which the Chilkoot Pass runs; I cringed every time this range was misnamed in t ...more
I read chapters 10 and 12 for information regarding Jack London's experience in the Klondike. A good read; much of the information is similar to Berton, but another singing voice is given here. These volumes unearth the still-heady power of the Klondike stories.
Feb 02, 2011 Adrian added it
Gray includes all the sweat, grime and hard graft of the Yukon gold rush as experienced by six individuals. It's quite a story and remarkable for a phenomenon that lasted less than four years (1896-1899)that it still holds such a spell. The center of the gold rush was the city of Dawson which grew from nothing to 30,000 and back down again to nearly nothing during these years. Gray could have provided a bit of detail on what large companies did in dredging the area after the individual prospecto ...more
Joseph King
Wonderful for the first 200 pages and then it just died! The descriptions of the rush were great but it really bogged down after the initial phase was over. But, all in all, a well written and informative narrative. Section on Jack London was excellent.
The best history of the Klondike I've read... Brings back many memories of Dawson City from my teens.
Jenny Brown
Gray brings alive the Yukon gold rush and life in Dawson using a series of primary sources such as a contemporary prospector's account of his two years in the Yukon, Jack London's writings about his disastrous foray into prospecting, a brother's account of a Jesuit priest who founded Dawson's hospital, and an interpid English lady reporter for the Times.

The book brings the period alive and leaves you with brilliantly described images and anecdotes you won't soon forget.

Highly recommended.
A great read!
This book was picked by a member of my book club. Although I found it somewhat interesting and informative, I don't tend to read non-fiction for pleasure. I also unfortunately was unable to finish the book as it was a library book which came due and because my club is reading it, I was unable to renew because there were holds on it from other members.
An excellent non-fiction read, that provides a rich and full picture of the Klondike Gold Rush through the eyes of a variety of folks in the middle of it, including Jack London, a Jesuit father, a female entrepreneur, and of course the gold diggers themselves. A very good read, pulled me right along.
An absorbing look at the Klondike gold rush, focusing on a few people who were participants in completely different ways. Most of the information, particularly about these people's personal experiences, came from first hand accounts. Great read.
Tells the story of the Klondike gold rush by focusing on the lives of six very different people. The focus on the individuals lends drive to the narrative without sacrificing a sense of the overall history. 4+ stars - superb.
A great overview of the Klondike goldrush in Dawson City. Told through the lives of 6 people who lived and worked in Dawson during its short but exciting heyday. The photos and ancedotes make the book read more like fiction than non.
A fascinating look into the Dawson gold rush years. It was wonderful to get an up-close and personal look at several real life characters (including a youthful Jack London), rather than just a general overview. B
Probably my favorite thing I've proofed! Really well-researched, well-written nonfiction about the Yukon gold rush at the end of the 19th century. I learned a ton and was entertained.
Aug 05, 2013 Stacy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Well-written, fun and engaging; suitable for readers with minimal knowledge of the era, but with enough detail to interest those who know the Klondike history as well.
Sep 30, 2014 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
3.5 stars. Loved the stories, just didn't always love the telling. And I'm morbid, so I could have done with more of the tragedy and less of the triumph.
Myrl Coulter
Well done. Very readable even for someone new to an interest in the Klondike gold rush. Depth of research is evident on every page, but doesn't weigh it down.
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Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s best-known writers, and author of eight acclaimed books of literary non-fiction. Born in Sheffield, England, and educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada in 1979, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine col ...more
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